I learned the major cause of writer's block at one of my first Writer's Workshops. When my plot slows or cannot advance I ask, "Do I need a person, place or thing to happen at this point." Sometimes I need a disposable character to create a scene to get to where my protagonist or antagonist needs to be. In my last 2 novels I used a pet to transition the action. THE HAPPY HAT has a large Maine Coon cat as a catalyst for romantic intervention. In my new book, BLACKWATER FEVER, I use a feisty female cockatoo with a huge vocabulary as an important character.